THON Tales 2014: A multimedia blog | Sunday
THON – the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon – Last year the event raised more than $12 million to benefit the families of children with cancer. Each February the dance marathon fills the Bryce Jordan Center at University Park with 15,000 people for 46 hours. These are some of their stories from Sunday.
The countdown from ground level (and some closing thoughts)
After spending the entire weekend working for THON, Rules and Regulations Pass Team Captain got to walk onto the floor of the Bryce Jordan Center for a close to front row view as the fund-raising total was revealed. She brought her smartphone. Here's what she saw.
After Caldwell returned home she sat down to reflect on her experience this weekend.
(View a high definition replay from the THON telecast.)
~ By Jill Caldwell
The Centre Area Transportation Authority(CATA) provides 24-hour blue and white bus service over THON weekend each year. Kimberly Stogdill, a CATA bus driver, has driven on THON weekend for the past seven years, and she has signed up to drive extra shifts several times. She works hard to raise awareness of the special 24-hour bus service by collaborating with Penn State students to create a promotional music video. See the video here
~ By Abigail Johnson
Sights and sounds
THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. THON began in 1977, and since has raised more than $114 million for the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital.
~ By Nicholas Veres
Fit to dance
Harrison Wieder went through a lot to prepare for 46-straight hours of dancing at THON. When he found out he’d be a dancer, a friend of his recommended he undergo Advocare’s 24-Day Challenge, a bodily cleansing regimen that included taking supplements, giving up his old eating (and drinking) habits, and following a strict cardio-workout program. Along with more than 700 other Penn State students, Harrison made sure he’d be ready to get his groove on for almost two days straight. Now, he’s in the best shape of his life.
~ By Rainier Lopez
Me to we
Daily Collegian senior columnist Steve Petrella wrote an opinion piece in early February. The article highlighted the use of social media to promote THON and how students tend to become self-righteous about the deeds they are doing. Petrella offered advice on how to change student’s attitudes on THON from “me” to “we.”
~ By Julian Pritcher
Pround to be a dancer
Senior Lindsay Bacik was proud to have the opportunity to dance for the Mummert family and their youngest child Noah, 7, who was diagnosed with cancer four years ago.
~ By Brooke Owen
Shelby Nease and about 800 of her fellow Rules & Regulation committee members ensure that THON weekend goes off without a hitch. Between guarding entrances, working the with PASS system and enforcing the rules within the Bryce Jordan Center, they ensure safety and security for all those participating.
A sophomore and integrative arts major at Penn State, Nease fell in love with THON during her freshman year. Wanting to get more involved, she was inspired to join for the Rules and & Regulation committee. Nease and the rest of her committee members work as a security unit for the Bryce Jordan Center during THON weekend as well as having designated PASS teams. Nease worked about four shifts during her time at THON 2014, ranging from four to seven hours each. Nease said she believed it was all worth it and her feet didn't hurt too badly, stating that towards the end they were just "numb."
~By Cassandra Wiggins
More THON, please
Minutes before the announcement of the total amount raised by THON, junior Montana Stigger was dancing energetically with 15,000 other people in the Bryce Jordan Center. She said THON 2014 was the best yet and she wishes THON happened more often.
~ By Kelsey Lukas
Once their feet start hurting ...
Nick Schmidt is a senior at Penn State studying Athletic Training. Nick, like many other Penn State students, loves to participate in THON, but Nick does his part in a different way. As a member of the Athletic Training Club, Nick along with other trainers takes different shifts throughout THON weekend to support the dancers. They ice, stretch, and assist the dancers with any pain they might have in their legs while standing 46 hours for the kids.
~ By Dylan Nelson
Briana Brooks, a junior studying Human Development and Family Studies, has a plan on how to stay awake during her time at THON.
~ By Donovan Quinn
Hard work pays off
Penn State freshman Matt Summerson spent more than 42 hours preparing for THON as a part of the Bryce Jordan Center's stage crew. After all his hard work was done he was able to go see THON come together for his first time.
~By Emily Martin
Gabriella Spero and Cru
Penn State senior Gabriella Spero is a nursing major who spent much of her time at Hershey Medical center her junior year, where she cared for children with cancer. She found her place in the Cru community, which spreads the gospel and raises money for many causes including THON.
Cru is a community where the gospel captures hearts, transforms lives and launches men and women into a lifelong adventure with Jesus Christ. Penn State Cru is the Penn State chapter of Campus Crusade for Christ. Gabby has spent more than 30 hours at THON '14, and has had hands-on experience with pediatric cancer, dedicating many hours with the children at Hershey Medical Center. Although it is her last THON as a student, she says she hopes to come back for many years in the future.
~ By Tyler Elder
The THON 2014 worker's lfestyle
Keyla Medrano is a hard working student and an experienced Subway employee at the Bryce Jordan Center. Today that meant working part of the crazy THON weekend. People usually only consider the dancer having a hard time during THON weekend, but workers have it just as bad. Things can get hectic, but she still manages to keep her spirit up and enjoy the atmosphere.
~ By Brodney Nicol
THON veteran becomes a spectator
Penn State Altoona senior Kristina Lora volunteered to work at THON for three years. This is her first year at THON as a spectator.
~ By Ashley Geohagen
Students from all over Penn State came together for 46 hours to celebrate THON. While this is an exciting time for first-time THON goers, for seniors Katie Hipple, Latiise Wilkins, and Emanuel Marques Pereria it meant saying goodbye.
~ By Alexandra Otero
Who needs sleep?
Kevin Vanbramer, a Rules and Regulations committee member, has been toiling away at THON for more than 30, doing tasks like checking bags and water bottles as people enter the Bryce Jordan Center. Not the most glamorous work, but it will give him a great seat to see the final miunutes of THON.
~ By Vince Weltz
No Hark Work Unnoticed
Penn State sophomore Laura Boyden has worked many long hours for the Apollo Rules and Regulations committee during THON Weekend.
~ Tygh Kane
Dancer: Exhausted, but she would do it again
Jaime Pritzker has been awake for 60 hours. Everything seems a little blurry, except the fact she's about to complete an experience she'll remember forever.
~ Jaime Pritzker
The view from R and R
Rules and Regulations Pass Team Captain Jill Caldwell brought her smartphone to the Bryce Jordan Center for THON weekend and used it to gather video for this report. She interviewed her co-captain, Sarah Ozark, and Student Nutrition Association dancer Katie Bridgens.
~ Jill Caldwell
The operation committee Sean Rooney is involved with is responsible for setting up and tearing down the Bryce Jordan Center during THON weekend. Some of their duties include taking out trash, stocking bathrooms and most importantly keeping people hyped up.
~ By Darius Donelson
Math skills are the first to go
Members of Penn State's Blue & White Society have spent the last year canning, holding fundraisers and participating in various events on campus to raise money for the Four Diamonds Fund. They help to sponsor two THON families, the Looses and the Demmys.
Part of the payoff is the opportunity to spend THON weekend in the alumni suite at the Bryce Jordan Center. Students like the society's logistics chair, senior Alissa Chessario, get to experience all the excitement of THON. They also get to feel the effects of a weekend of sleep deprivation.
~ By Victoria Faconti
Embracing the moment
Jaime Pritzker comes from a Penn State family. In her fourth and final year as a student, she has been a part of THON for as long as she can remember. Her parents, her brother and her sister all went to Penn State.
She has been involved with THON all four years through her sorority, Delta Gamma, including THON 2013 when she drove three hours to State College to spend 20 straight hours in the stands cheering on the dancers before immediately heading to the airport to travel to Sydney, Australia for a semester abroad. Finally a dancer, she is dancing independently with one of her closest friends. (Jaime Pritzker filed this video report from THON on Saturday.)
~ By Frankie Greek
Dancer support improves with new pass system
The Dancer Support Pass is a conspicuous success this weekend for THON's Rules and Regulations committee. With a 30 minute time slot for two people to visit their dancer, the support system provides a late night/early morning break for dancers.
~By Cassie Hart
Play for big and small
Athlete Hour during THON is a time when hundreds of athletes at Penn State enter the South Gym in the BJC and interact with THON children and their families. It’s an opportunity for the athletes to meet and greet the families and play with the kids. There are games and crafts that the athletes set up and use as a tool to get to better know the kids.
~ By Talia East
The Tech Behind It All
Behind THON is a system of complex computer systems keeping track of visitors and passes. Key componenets are technological -- like the Think network -- and human -- the countless volunteers involved with THON. Juan Munoz is a tech captain who's in charge of working on and maintaining these systems throughout THON weekend and making sure that everyone has a positive experience when receiving their passes and using the Think network.
~ by Matthew Faigman